Opportunity Accelerator

A collaborative initiative to support governments in their efforts to promote economic mobility and reduce racial disparities in their communities.

Results for America’s Opportunity Accelerator (OA) initiative was launched in July 2020 as a collaborative partnership – along with the Bloomberg Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, Code for America, the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab, and the W. Haywood Burns Institute – to support government in promoting economic mobility, reducing racial disparities, and improving the wellbeing of their residents.



The chances that a child born into poverty will move to a middle-class adulthood have been declining for more than 50 years. According to groundbreaking research by Harvard Economist Raj Chetty and Opportunity Insights, the zip code where a person grows up, as well as their race and gender, significantly impacts their upward mobility.

Government has been investing in programs and initiatives to promote economic mobility and address racial inequities. However, these are complex issues rooted in historical structural racism. To promote economic mobility and racial equity, government must be able to collaborate with place-based partnerships and its community to identify and implement the most effective and equitable solutions.

The OA worked with five local jurisdictions to build their capacity to collaborate with community partners and directly with residents to identify barriers to economic mobility, co-design programs and solutions, and ensure those programs and solutions deliver on outcomes that ultimately increase community wellbeing. The initiative supported government partners in gaining a comprehensive understanding of and strategic planning towards an equitable population-level outcome, such as:

  • connecting young people who are not in school or employed to mentorship programs and apprenticeships to improve quality employment opportunities;
  • providing employment services, benefit access, or income support to recently housed homeless individuals and families to enable a path to self-sufficiency;
  • offering quality child care or after school programs to Black and Latino caregivers with young children to enable them to gain or maintain employment.

Government teams received tailored support and technical assistance from the five OA partner organizations from July 2020 through December 2023 to develop and implement a project that drove an equitable economic mobility population-level outcome. Government teams received technical assistance in areas such as strategic planning, implementation management, racial equity coaching, impact measurement, data practices and systems, improving procurement processes of services and goods and promoting user research and user-centered design, among others.

Early successes of our government partners include:

  • The Alameda County Probation Department successfully relaunched its Center of Reentry Excellence under a new vendor, increasing the number of referrals probation clients receive for reentry services and ultimately providing clients with more support to achieve long-term housing and economic stability. Read the Impact Story
  • The City of Albuquerque conducted a comprehensive assessment to better understand barriers to home buying for Black Albuquerquians and address gaps through targeted resources and services, closing the racial gap in housing. Read the Impact Story
  • San Antonio’s Ready to Work (RTW) program improved its service design to help Black and Latina caregivers enroll in and successfully complete the RTW program, leading to better job opportunities and long-term economic stability for themselves and their families. Read the Impact Story
  • Shelby County trained 12 youth researchers who are working with their communities to identify how services can be better coordinated and delivered to help young people be more connected to workforce and education opportunities. Read the Impact Story
  • Partner Tulsa and the City of Tulsa worked with community members to identify a community governance model for the redevelopment of the site of Black Wall Street, ensuring that Black Tulsans, including the descendants of the Black Wall Street massacre, benefit from the redevelopment. Read the Impact Story


About The Collaborators

Results for America:
Results for America is helping decision-makers at all levels of government harness evidence and data to make progress on our greatest challenges. Our mission is to make investing in what works the “new normal,” so that when policymakers make decisions, they start by seeking the best evidence and data available, then use what they find to get better results.

Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University:
Founded in 2015, The Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) at Johns Hopkins University, supports and coaches leaders and their teams to build a data-driven public sector that fairly and justly uses data, research, and analytics to better understand complex issues, engage residents, and implement policy interventions that lead to equitable outcomes and transforms the standard of living for underserved residents. We distill best practices from around the globe and offer technical support to help city leaders improve data and performance management. GovEx invests in communities by also providing in-depth training courses to educate government staff, at all levels, on the value of data in providing equitable services.

Code for America:
Code for America, a nonprofit founded in 2009, believes that government can work for the people, and by the people, in the digital age. We work with government at all levels across the country to make the delivery of public services equitable with technology. Together with thousands of volunteers across over 80 Brigade chapters in the U.S., we work with community organizations and governments to build digital tools, change policies, and improve programs. Our goal: a resilient government that effectively and equitably serves everyone.

Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab:
The Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab (GPL), based in the School’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government, supports state and local governments across the country in designing and implementing solutions to pressing social problems. The GPL has conducted more than 200 projects in 35 states, helping innovative state and local government leaders improve the results they achieve for their residents. An important part of the GPL’s research model involves capturing the insights, tools and practices that are gained through these hands-on projects and sharing them with government leaders across the country.

W. Haywood Burns Institute:
The W. Haywood Burns Institute (BI) is a black-led national, non-profit with a diverse team of bold visionaries. Always challenging racial hierarchy and the social control of communities of color by the justice sector and other public systems, BI employs strategies and tactics to establish a community centered approach to transformation that is anchored in structural well-being.

Blue Meridian Partners:
Through its Place Matters portfolio, Blue Meridian aims to improve economic and social mobility in communities across the US through investments both in place-based partnerships and in supports to catalyze their success.